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Member Spotlight: Gregory Kenneth Belliveau

author Gregory Belliveau and his book Gods of IMAGO

Why is writing important to you and why do you think it’s an important medium for the world? Writing – creating stories is a human disposition. To tell stories is to be “little creators” of the created world. Placing one word after the other to inspire and provoke the theater of the mind is not only a privilege for all who do it, but in some mysterious way – a necessity for both the writer and the readers of the world.

What are your tried and tested remedies to cure writer’s block? Writer’s Block is simply: a writer has come to a place where the path of creation has been compromised. I have found it boils down to a particular problem (always technical) that you need to solve. All the other elements of it (lying about, distracting oneself, staring at the blank screen, etc…) are the result of this. The key is to find out what “this” – the fundamental issue -is. I have discovered I do not understand caves and how they work. I must do massive research and go from there. I am struggling with a character because I do not know what she actually wants, or her obstacle preventing her from getting what she wants is silly. I must figure out a better plot structure. And on and on and on. I have found it has nothing to do with will or want. It has always been: solve the problem… then BOOM! the road is clear, the journey continues… until… ugh!

What is your favorite time to write? I write in the mornings, not always, but most times. I am a routine writer, and find that when I consistently set aside the time to focus on the art/craft/story every day, I am much more productive.

What’s the best piece of writing advice you’ve ever received and would like to impart to other writers? There are millions of “almost Writers” who have “almost” written a story and “almost” gotten it published. Don’t be “almost!” Sit down (ass in seat) and actually become an actual novelist who has written actual novels. The fame and notoriety part is not up to you nor has it ever been. Your job is not to be a celebrity. Indeed, look at the great cloud of witnesses that came before: most unknown during their lifetime, in poverty, and the books soon forgotten. No, it’s not about that. Your job it is to write novels. That is the gift (burden) set firmly on your back to carry all your life. Your job is to become a master at it. Your job is to sit at your desk ‘finishing the hat” while the world moves past your window. And there is no other place you or I would ever want to be!

What excites you most about being a writer in today’s age? I love that good writers (those who are serious about their craft) still have thousands of outlets to publish their books. The 19th century mindset is finally crumbling under the weight of the 21st century demands. All writers must market, “schlock” their wares – that is the way of writing, but no longer do we have to wait and wait and wait and wait and wait for some lottery drawing of fate to get our work into the world. Small houses are thriving, and there is one out there for every type of writing. Find them, start up conversations with the editor. Get your work out there. A legitimate small press will get it out to all the distribution points the Big Five have… and every book will be forgotten after the three-month window (returns). Every writer (big or small house) will be right back in the position of “well, what do you have for me now?” And that’s so cool, because we are writers… and that is what we do!

Gregory Kenneth Belliveau’s Gods of IMAGO is out today with Rogue Phoenix Press.